In his limited action so far this season Clemson freshman running back Travis Etienne has more than impressed Tiger fans and coaches. In Louisville, a week ago he showed his speed and acceleration on an 81-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
Etienne has been fighting for carries in a four-horse race and while he has only carried the ball 19 times this season, he is second among running backs in total rush yards. However, his youth has limited his playing time.
Saturday, in Clemson’s 34-7 win over Boston College, the Jennings, La., native took full advantage of his opportunities. He carried the ball nine times for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
The majority of Etienne’s carries came in the final quarter in which Clemson entered tied at 7 with the Eagles. In the fourth quarter Etienne possessed the ball five times for 91 yards and scored two touchdowns.
After Feaster’s hot start, Etienne’s opportunity did not arise until the sixth Clemson drive. He came in and instantly made an impact with a pair of 8-yard carries and a key block on a third down run from Kelly Bryant.
Etienne re-entered the game on the first drive of the second half, extending a drive on fourth-and-inches, prior to an interception.
His most impactful carry came in the fourth quarter as Clemson looked to extend their 14-7 lead. With just under six minutes to play the Tigers faced a second-and-seven at the 50-yard line and called an inside zone play to the right side.
The freshman running back showed his toughness and acceleration as he blew through an outstretched arm at the line and shook a tackle at the second level. He kicked in to hyper speed and sprinted down the numbers and into the end zone to give Clemson full control of the game.
The Tigers called Etienne’s number a few more times down the stretch leading to his second touchdown. With just under a minute he took a handoff around the end to the left side and spun out of a tackle, diving past the goal line to give the Tigers a 34-7 advantage.
It will be interesting to see who totes the rock against Bud Foster’s defense at Virginia Tech next weekend. However, Etienne certainly made his case for more carries with his impressive performance against the Eagles.